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BOSTON-Fairmont Hotel & Resorts Inc. purchased a 50% stake in the Copley Plaza, located here in the Back Bay area of the city. The company has been running the hotel for the past five years.

Fairmont, which is one of the country’s largest hotel chains, purchased the stake for $23 million from Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talai bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, a nephew of King Fahd. As part of the purchase, Fairmont paid $3 million to manage the hotel for the next 50 years. Fairmont will also pay to renovate the landmark hotel, which opened in 1912.

Alwaleed, who is a 16.5% owner of Fairmont’s hotel management unit, bought the Copley Plaza in 1996 with Olympus Real Estate Corp., an affiliate of Hicks Muse Tate & Furst Inc. Three years later, he bought the Olympus shares to become its owner. This sale enables Alwaleed to shift his interest in the Copley Plaza from property owner to manager and it provides the prince, whose fortune is valued at $20 billion, with capital for future hotel purchases. Alwaleed already has shares in some of the world’s top luxury hotels including Toronto-based Four Seasons Hotels Inc., Paris-based George V in Paris and the Plaza in New York.

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